Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.
THE HOLY BULL STAKES IS CONSIDERED THE FIRST LEG OF THE FLORIDA PREP RACES FOR THE KENTUCKY DERBY. WHAT RACES DID THE HOLY BULL STAKES REPLACE?
Since 1996, Gulfstream Park has hosted three major prep races for the Kentucky Derby –the Holy Bull Stakes, the Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Florida Derby. The Holy Bull Stakes was inaugurated in 1996 and was previously named the Preview Stakes. The Preview Stakes was started in 1990 at Gulfstream Park to replace the Flamingo Stakes which ceased running with the closure of Hialeah Park Race Track. So, in fact the first Florida prep race for the Kentucky Derby, the Holy Bull Stakes, grew out of two previous races. In recognizing the Florida prep races for the Kentucky Derby, the Holy Bull Stakes, the Preview Stakes and the Flamingo Stakes must be considered the first leg. The last horse to win the three Florida prep races for the Kentucky Derby was Spectacular Bid in 1979. He won the Flamingo Stakes, Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby. He continued on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. He was denied the Triple Crown when Coastal beat him in the Belmont Stakes. Fort-two years later the Greatest Honour will try to match his feat by winning the 2021 Florida Derby after winning the Holy Bull Stakes and the Fountain of Youth Stakes.